Garden Design Magazine: A Visit to Sandra Jordan’s Farmhouse and Gardens

Pergola in Sandra Jordan’s garden (Photo: Michael Bello)

As a member of Garden Design magazine’s advisory board I have been invited to contribute to their site.  My first article is a photo story about a visit to Sandra Jordan’s home for a garden party she hosted recently for for VIDA (Volunteers for Inter-American Development Assistance).  Sandra is the international ambassador for the non-profit organization that provides disaster relief, medical supply aid, primary health care and HIV programs in Latin America. Continue reading

Fabulous Tea Sets

Porcelain tea set by Wiener Werkstätte designer Ena Rottenberg for the historic Austrian porcelain manufacturer Augarten, 1930 (Photo: courtesy of Neue Galerie)

Some of you may know that I love tea and that I have a slight addiction to tabletop.  Hence my interview series “Tea With Claudia” is held by sharing a cup of tea, and my devotion to DIFFA’s Dining by Design is everlasting.

I often come across some really wonderful tea sets.  Some are unattainable, and some are very tempting; but I would need a lot more storage to get all the china and crystal I really want.  So I thought I would resist the urge and instead share images of temptation with all of you.  Here are some interesting designs from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, all truly elevating the art of drinking tea. Continue reading

Bespoke Design Evolution: “Isle St. Louis” Buffet

Detail of finished buffet

I would like to share another bespoke piece of furniture we designed for clients.  As always, it started with very specific requirements, which were then followed by ideas that slowly developed into a complete design.

Idea: Our clients live in a historic mansion, but wanted to see a more transitional buffet in their dining room.  The existing piece that came with the house was finally scheduled to be sent the consignment store.  It looked dated, had the wrong scale for the room, and it certainly did not provide the storage needed.  The dining room  is enveloped in gorgeous custom damask wallpaper from Robert Crowder and rich mahogany trim.  So we all liked the idea of black against that backdrop and we agreed on a design that was sexy with clean, yet traditional lines.  When I threw out crocodile leather the clients got really inspired. Continue reading